B&Q owner Kingfisher forecast a 20% rise in annual profits after strong international growth offset tough trading in the UK.
The group expects adjusted pre-tax profits for the year ending last month to be at the top end of City expectations – ranging from £661m to £672m – after strong sales in Poland and Russia.
In the UK, same-store sales at B&Q fell by 0.3% in the 13 weeks to January 29 – an improvement on the 5.1% seen in the previous quarter.
Total sales at the UK stores were up by 0.1% to £835m. Building supplies arm Screwfix lifted sales by 5.4% to £119m.
Chief executive Ian Cheshire was cautious about B&Q’s outlook for the current financial year.